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Victoria’s Best Elevator View—and Other Uplifting Secrets of the Hotel Grand Pacific

By |July 13th, 2011|

When we were judging the Lieutenant Governor’s Awards of Excellence in Victoria, B.C., we stayed at the Hotel Grand Pacific, which, it strikes me, is one of the capital’s better, if largely unsung hotels.  In fact, we’ve rested our head on HGP’s pillows a number of times over the last few years but [...]

Nothing Like a Little Languedoc to Get Your Roussillon — Hey Waiter! There’s Garrigue in my Wine!

By |June 10th, 2011|

We had an excellent tasting recently with the folks from Languedoc and Roussillon. It’s a region that gets surprisingly little attention, especially considering the character of the wines and the value they deliver at most price points. Over the years, however, I think the entry level wines in particular have suffered from being [...]

Time to Exorcise Excise: The Perils of Cross Border ‘Smuggling’ in Canada

By |May 13th, 2011|

Amazing how a guy driving through the Rockies with a couple of boxes of wine in his trunk can get people so stirred up: All power to Terry David Mulligan for single handedly bringing this issue to such prominence. If you're not familiar with the topic, you can read up on it in this excellent Wine [...]

WHERE Vancouver Announces 15th Annual Where to Dine Awards

By |April 28th, 2011|

WHERE Vancouver (to whom the Hired Belly supplies considerable calorific content) yesterday unveiled the 15TH Annual Where to Dine Awards. The well attended (and well-run) event was hosted in superb fashion by Blue Water Café, who, as usual, catered to their industry peers with an array of seafood towers, sushi and more, not [...]

What’s in a Name? If You’re BC’s Principal Grape Growing Region, Plenty

By |April 26th, 2011|

We're still sorting through our notes from this year's South Okanagan Banée. But this was the major news... Here's our column as it appears in this weekend's North Shore News: Over the last six months, the South Okanagan Wineries Association (SOWA) has been on the quest for a new identity. While organizations often [...]

A Little Sauvignon Blanc Post-Ballot? Kiwi Wine Fair Rewards for Voting

By |April 23rd, 2011|

  Time to mark the calendar for May 2nd. Yes, it’s Election Day in Canada but more to the point, it's the day the Kiwis roll into Vancouver for the annual New Zealand Wine Fair, this year at The Roundhouse —so you can take the Canada Line to right across the street. [...]

Renewing an Old Acquaintance: Victoria’s Empress—Still Looking Good

By |April 23rd, 2011|

Coming back to—Victoria’s Fairmont Empress is a bit like catching up with your old aunt, who you haven’t seen for a few years. She’s aged a little more (haven’t we all?) but that last little nip and tuck of a facelift seems to have quite helped quite a bit. Victoria waterfront showing the hotel [...]

Miradoro at Tinhorn Creek Winery: Raising the Bar on Okanagan Dining

By |April 18th, 2011|

We finally made it to recently unveiled Miradoro, the new restaurant at Tinhorn Creek Vineyards, in Oliver, BC. We’ve been watching the progress (admittedly, slow at times) of this latest South Okanagan addition with interest, in part because it’s a collaboration between our long-time friends Manuel Ferreira (who owns Vancouver’s Le Gavroche) and Ken [...]

Post Olympics Puppy Love? Not Quite.

By |February 1st, 2011|

Like most people, we are sickened by the news just out of Whistler, concerning the brutal killing of 100 sled dogs last April, post-Olympics, and ongoing SPCA (Society for Prevention of Cruelty to Animals) investigation. Over the years, we’ve been lucky enough to dog-sled a couple of times, at Sun Peaks, BC, and at [...]

ZAP Turns 20 in San Francisco – Jan 29 Maybe You Should be There!

By |January 7th, 2011|

With Golden Gate Bridge in the background, and a wealth of wine within, not a bad place to taste, Tim Pawsey photo ZAP may well be the most fun you can ever have at a wine tasting ... We’ve been to a few tastings in our time but nothing quite compares with ZAP—the no holds [...]

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